May 19, 2024


International Student Club UK

Cornwall’s best and worst places to live in 2022 ranked


The best and worst places to live in Cornwall in 2022 have been revealed, with a few surprises in the rankings. Fowey came in the number one spot, which will be no surprise to many, followed closely by Truro and Wadebridge. But also making the list were St Blazey and Bodmin – often unfairly criticised.

But how did your town rank? To our surprise many of Cornwall’s towns and villages were left completely off the research report by property finder Garrington which compiled an annual ranking of where to live in the UK based on criteria fitting into four categories – physical environment, quality of life, architecture/heritage and going green.

CornwallLive has analysed the results and compiled every Cornwall town included in Garrington’s study in order of which one fared the best – bearing in mind that many areas are not included at all. It’s after Fowey was found to be the sixth best place to live in the UK overall out of 1,372 locations.

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Unfortunately some major locations across Cornwall were left out of the report meaning we don’t know where much of them would have ranked on the list, including Penzance, Bude, Liskeard, St Austell, Camborne, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Hayle, Looe and Newquay to name a few. But we do know how at least eleven locations fared on the list of comparing 1,372 locations.

11. Torpoint

Overall rank: 642/1372

Located on the northern end of the Rame Peninsula is the bustling town of Torpoint – often considered to be part of forgotten Cornwall due to it’s close proximity to the border, and it’s close connections to Plymouth. But just a short ferry trip away Torpoint has the benefit of being a prime location for exploring both counties.

Torpoint was ranked as 642nd in Garrington’s rankings which at first glance is terrible really when the place has so much to offer. Torpoint actually only became a town in the early nineteenth century and before nearby village Antony had the highest population in the area. And despite being dubbed ‘the suburb of Plymouth’ the locals definitely consider themselves Cornish.

10. Callington

Overall rank: 515/1372

Callington is very much a handy base for explorers that plan to wade in Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor, as well as for those who love a good shopping spree and a bit of culture. There’s plenty to do in Callington and the locals love to entwine themselves in annual events such as the town carnival, the annual window display competition and more.

A visit to the town in the summertime will help you understand why Callington is a past winner of the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition too. During the pandemic residents even made a spectacular wave of poppies which brought even more life to the town for Remembrance Day. There is always something going on so it’s no surprise that the town would be featured.

9. Helston

Overall rank: 395/1372

Home to one of Cornwall’s most iconic dates on the calendar – Flora Day – is Helston. But by no means is that all Helston has to offer. Just north of the Lizard Peninsula Helston was originally a thriving port – although the river silted up over the years. Now where the river joins the sea is Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake. Helston is also home to a thriving market town with plenty of shops and impressive architecture – of which you can learn plenty more about in the charming Helston Folk Museum.

The Midday Dance in Lismore gardens on Helston Flora Day

Each year on May 8 though you will see the whole town come to life for the ‘Furry’ or Floral Dance on Flora Day. The streets become filled with thousands as carnivalesque celebrations take over well through the day and into the night with men and woman dressed top to tail in their finest garments.

8. St Blazey

Overall rank: 344/1372

Most famously known as home to Cornwall’s best-known attraction, the Eden Project, St Blazey’s history is actually well rooted in the china clay industry but it often gets criticism as it’s one of Cornwall’s poorest areas. The small town has a high density of social housing, and often its newcomers do not own any basic furniture or white goods before moving in.

Eden Project Biomes, Cornwall, England
Eden Project Biomes, Cornwall, England

That being said it’s got a full and rich history as it cemented itself as an important engineering centre within the mining industry. It’s also located between the picturesque villages of Charlestown and Fowey – both famous for being some of the prettiest places in Britain and often used as movie filming locations.

7. Saltash

Overall rank: 341/1372

Saltash is generally the first and last place you encounter on a trip to Cornwall – often referred to as the gateway. This colourful town is nestled on the western banks of the River Tamar it is found right on the county’s natural border with Devon. Sat prettily in the long shade of the Tamar Bridge, Saltash looks across the waters at the glittering lights of Plymouth and is a quiet haven compared to the famous naval city – with many choosing to live here and commute to and fro.

You can catch ferries across the river if you are looking for a slower and more picturesque way to get to and from Plymouth without crossing the town’s impressive bridge – while never being too far from everything else both Devon and Cornwall have to offer.

6. Launceston

Overall rank: 308/1372

Modern-day Launceston, with its winding streets, interesting architecture and colourful specialist shops, boasts a lively and thriving community of over 8,000 people and has become an increasingly popular place to call home.

Launceston is the ancient capital of Cornwall and still boasts a medieval south gate and the ruins of a castle – as well as being full of independent shops, cafes and examples of early architecture.

5. Bodmin

Overall rank: 222/1372

Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers drive past Bodmin each year, but probably only know its name because of the nearby moors, or even the infamous beast. Visiting Bodmin might not be on many people’s bucket list, but the town has a lot to offer, for tourists from upcountry or visitors from Cornwall. It is also in the process of reinventing itself as a destination for nature, architecture and history lovers.

Mount Folly in Bodmin, which became Cornwall's county town in 1836 before handing the baton over to Truro
Mount Folly in Bodmin, which became Cornwall’s county town in 1836 before handing the baton over to Truro

Bodmin was the county town of Cornwall until it handed over the restraints to Truro in the 19th century. From that time, it has retained remarkable architecture, old courts and an old jail. Bodmin is also great for green tourism as it is surrounded by the Camel Trail, the 63-acre Beacon nature reserve and Lanhydrock estate.

4. St Ives

Overall rank: 165/1372

St Ives is formed of an impressive jumble of white, sandy beaches, perfect for a day of splashing around in the turquoise blue sea and an incredible array of local cafés and independent shops. Art has also always been a significant feature of life in the town, even pre-dating the arrival of the Tate gallery. The streets are flourishing with studios and galleries with artists flocking to the area to take advantage of the incredible scenery.

Bursting with culture, the narrow Victorian streets are a pleasure to weave your way in and out of with something new to see on every corner… but often, this is only the case if you visit in the summer. If you go to St Ives at the end of the winter season, the place can resemble more of a ghost town. Restaurants, art galleries and many of the local businesses close up shop for the season, relying solely on holiday trade in the summer months.

3. Wadebridge

Overall rank: 38/1372

Located just inland on the Camel River estuary and once famous as a centre for wool production, Wadebridge is now a lively hub of the north coast. Wadebridge was originally a market town but later became a foundry town. Its fifteenth century bridge across the River Camel is also well worth a visit.

2. Truro

Overall rank: 34/1372

Truro is Cornwall’s only city and as such it is Cornwall’s county town centre for administration, leisure and retail. Its population was recorded as 18,766 in the 2011 census. People from Truro are known as Truronians. It has a cathedral and is one of the UK’s smallest cities. The city is famous for it’s ancient, cobbles and narrow streets with a range of stunning architecture. It gained city status in 1877 – but building the cathedral didn’t begin until three years later.

The Truro City Councillors have been told to apologise

1. Fowey

Overall rank: 6/1372

Fowey is regarded by many as a very desirable place to live, offering the tranquillity and exquisite views synonymous with a Cornish seaside town combined with a friendly and thriving community, excellent shops, restaurants, facilities and good transport links to nearby towns. – so it’s no surprise that Fowey came top of the pops for Cornwall – and sixth place overall across the entire UK.


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